Anyone who has been to India Gate for a picnic, well let’s say over 25 years ago before the place got packed with tourists and traffic, would have memories of eating these spicy lemony roasted chick peas that I am talking about here. They were served by street vendors walking in the park, from one group of people to another, enticing everyone with the newspaper cones filled with roasted masala chick peas. As soon as someone, usually someone like me showed interest in those spicy crispy pulses, on cue they would start sprinkling some more spices and chopped onions on it and squeezing some fresh lemon juice. There was something about the way they squeezed that lemon onto the chick peas that still makes my mouth water, and I mean literally water every time I think about it.
My husband thinks I’m crazy when I say my mouth literally waters and drools inside when I see lemons and limes being squeezed or when I open a jar of Indian pickle (believe me, its true!), and my response to him always is to remind him of the whiff you get from walking past a bakery on a cold wintry morning in England. Its impossible for him to walk past without buying a Chelsea bun or a pastry filled with cream. I have the same ‘pull’ with lemon juice and spicy pickles. Add some crunchy chick peas and I cannot stop without combining the two.
This is something I make very often. Too often perhaps as I am the only one in the house who eats them. This recipe, is for ME and it is my secret pleasure for when the boys are doing their own thing and I don’t need to cook for them. Whilst the boys are going to be enjoying a Chinese takeaway today, I am indulging in my fiery bowl of salad.
Needless to say the contents of this bowl were happily consumed before I started writing this blog post, happy and content.
MASALA ROASTED CHICKPEAS WITH POMEGRANATES
I roasted my own chickpeas, but you can buy them readymade at most Indian grocery stores. My recipe for masala chickpeas is coming up as a separate blog post.
1/2 cup Masala roasted chickpeas
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/4 red or orange pepper, finely chopped
1/4 green pepper, finely chopped
1 Jalapeno, finely chopped (optional)
1/2 yellow tomato, finely chopped (can use red tomato)
1/2 cup fresh pomegranate jewels
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 large sprig of mint, finely chopped leaves only
1 heaped teaspoon of Chaat Masala
1 teaspoon of Mango powder (Amchoor)
Combine everything in a bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice at the end when ready to eat – must be consumed in a quiet corner sofa chair, with your legs folded in and watching Downton Abbey (don’t ask, its amazing). Have a slightly sweet cup of tea afterwards to spruce up the spiced tastebuds even further.
This is how a Desi Brit girl like me enjoys watching Downton Abbey in Toronto 🙂